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I recently wrote a piece on why today’s Teens (Generation Z) have a reputation for being:

Lazy

Self-Entitled

Apathetic

Spoiled Rotten.

 

I will admit there are some teens that defy this pathetic reputation.  Thank goodness we still have teens being inducted into the ranks of Eagle Scout, The National Honor Society, etc…

Someone’s gonna have to sign our SS checks in 10+ years.  

These hard working, volunteering, high achieving, scholarship winning, stellar athlete, good-grade getting teens are out there.  I see their parents proudly posting their achievements on FB everyday!!  

And how does this happen… ???… was the kid just born that way...???… was it Healthy Neglect on the part of the parents…???… Fate…???… Luck…???… All the above?!?!

 

But what about today’s Spoiled-Brat-Teens??

Well…I blame their Parents:  

The Parents who were born on The Baby Boomer & Generation X Cusp.  

Known for great success in educational, financial and social arenas.  

Portrayed as a powerful generation of optimism, and high, over–achievement.

(of which I am a guilty member)

 

We were given all the resources to be perfect parents and successfully raise the perfect kid.

We just can’t bear to see our children fail.  

We’ll do anything to save our children from experiencing the pain, discomfort or direct consequences of their bad choices.  Because that may indicate we were bad parents!!! (Gasp!!!)  So, we Over-Parent!!!!!

 

Are we helping… or hurting??

Them    = hurting

Us         = hurting

Society = hurting

 

Gen. Z is going to be running this country one day.  A scary thought??  Damn right!!

And if they have a fighting chance of changing their flawed character and bad reputation…

the change is going to have to start with us, The Parents.

 

 LET’S EXAMINE TWO EXAMPLES WHERE CHANGE CAN START :

                                                                                         1.  Parental Portal

                                                                                        2.  Home Chores (next Blog)

 

Parent Portal  

The Parent Portal is defined as a tool for parents to stay informed and engaged in their child’s education.

Teachers post EVERYTHING on the Parent Portal: from grades to their daily lecture notes.

So, at any minute, The Parent can have access to a virtual seat right in their child’s classroom.

Is this a good or a bad thing???

Elementary School = good

Middle School = possibly good

High School = BAD!!!

 

Don’t get me wrong, I can understand the importance of parental involvement in their child’s academic development.

BUT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, LET”S HOPE BY HIGH SCHOOL WE CAN STOP HOLDING THEIR HAND!

(Yet how many parents are going to feel responsible for filling out those College Applications……????)

 

This September I attended an Open House for my youngest child…

who is a junior in high school  and every single teacher gave the same speech.

They encouraged us to check the Parent Portal “regularly” (daily), so we could help our kids remember their daily homework assignments, exam dates, project deadlines, etc…

They reminded us their lecture notes were also posted, so we could help our teens understand the subject matter if necessary.  

I jotted down their recommendations “word-for-word” like all of the other high achieving dutiful parents at Open House and finally I just wanted to scream: “EXCUSE ME…… ARE YOU KIDDING?!?!?”

I AM THE PARENT… NOT THE STUDENT!!!

Been there…did that.  Got the T-shirt AND the Diploma… On my own, Thank You Very Much!!!

My day is pretty busy as it is, and I certainly DO NOT have time to micro-manage my teen’s school day.

 

So, why do High School teachers feel it is the Parent’s responsibility for their student to succeed????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Why is the  “Student”  disappearing from this picture??????????????????????????

Teacher <——>  Student  <—–> Parent

 

We have no one to blame but ourselves!!! 

Beginning in Elementary school,  we conditioned our kids and the school system, to count on us to Save The Day!  

 

For example:

Remember the Sugar Cube Igloo our kid had weeks to complete that was built the Sunday night before its due date, with an architectural structure worthy of our mechanical engineering degree.

Same goes for the authentic Iroquois Longhouse complete with working fire-pit… the essay on Amelia Earhart and the book report & diorama on Moby Dick…

God-forbid the kid suffer the consequences of having zero interest or followthrough in completing their school projects… mom &/or dad will swoop in at the last minute and make sure the kid arrives to school Monday morning with a finished product worthy of an A+.

Problem:  By high school these coddled kids, (who have never suffered the consequences of their bad decisions) are… Lazy and Apathetic.

Cause: The Parent believes it is their responsibility to guarantee their kid is a successful student, ultimately proving they’re successful at parenting.  

Solution:  STOP!!!  Let them Fail.

 

We may ALL have to experience the discomfort of growing pains during the process of change…

but in the end it will be well worth it!!  

Honestly, our future depends on it!!

 

LET’S STOP TRYING TO SAVE OUR KIDS FROM THE PAIN OF THEIR OWN BAD DECISIONS….

When we back down, teacher’s can then start to hold the students solely responsible for their own choices!!!

Have you heard of this latest powerful Addiction??? I’m Hooked!!!

Have you heard of this latest powerful Addiction??? I’m Hooked!!!

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

I officially lost all self-control this weekend. And to be honest, it kinda scared the sh*t out of me.

 

Luckily, I was home alone, so there was no one else privy to my pathetic behavior, except my dog Charlie… who I now have tremendous respect for, seeing he had to endure the plight of my Freefall.

 

It all started quite innocently, early Saturday morning, when I had some free time on my hands.

 

You see… like many people lately…I have found myself in my car, singing loudly (o.k., VERY loudly) along to Adele’s new hit “Hello streaming on my satellite radio.

 

So, I decided to see what all the fuss was about with her new studio album “25”.  

After a quick Google search, I found a clip of her performing on Ellen. I skipped the commercial on Moderate to Severe Plaque Psoriasis, and within 3 seconds Adele started to belt out her song, “All I Ask”.  

 

Suddenly, something inside of me snapped, and I. Could. Not. Get. Enough!

I quickly adjusted the Volume to MAX!

I don’t do drugs, never have… But, I would assume the reaction I was experiencing was something similar to an addict on Crack.

 

I pulled up the lyrics on my iPhone and started to sing along.   Because there are people who have actually heard me sing…I should be completely honest; my singing is actually more accurately described as caterwauling. 

I quickly lost all self-control (along with any remaining self-respect) and began “singing” along with Adele at the Top. Of. My. Lungs. while trying to simultaneously emulate her fluid hand movements.  

I was completely captivated.

 

Have you seen or heard this woman perform??? She pulls you in gracefully……. But, with the force of a freaken’ tornado.  I was down-right powerless over her magnetic charisma.

 

The second the song ended, I’d immediately restart it from the beginning without skipping a beat.  It became a purely involuntary,reflexive response… an automatic reaction.  It was basically an out of body experience and I just went with it.  

 

I’m not even completely sure how many times the song looped.  I was caught up in this potent cocktail of Adele’s most UNbelievable voice, accompanied by my out-of-control caterwauling.  And the crazy thing was: it Worked!  

It was Sensational… Beautiful… Epic… Powerful!  

(Although, I’m not quite sure if Charlie would agree.)

 

Those Lyrics…That Melody…. Her Voice…. All The Passion… it triggered something deep inside me.  I was swirling in a watercolour pool of melancholy memories spiraling through my mind; first loves, heartbreak, childhood, hopes, dreams & losses. It was an unstoppable cascade of thoughts and raw emotion!

 

As I sang out every lyric with all my heart and soul, I felt EMPOWERED… it was like I possessed a surreal and spiritual strength.  I felt like I could accomplish anything… like I was superhuman…simply unstoppable.

I possibly might have felt, at that point, like I could actually Fly… (weird…i know)…. but frighteningly accurate.

 

Suddenly, I was transported back in time. Lost. In. The. Power. Of. Music.

Trying to memorize each powerful word in a deeply, heartrending song.  I hadn’t felt this way since I was a schoolgirl spinning the BeeGee’s 45s on my bedroom record player.  

 

WoW, I was completely mesmerized by Adele’s performance.  

I did have a moment of consciousness… just long enough, to find yet another stunning performance online.  This one was Adele singing her song “One Million Years” Live on the Today Show.  And she sucked me right back in and captivated my attention for what was now turning into quite the Adele Marathon…minutes effortlessly turned into hours.  

 

Finally, hunger pangs reminded me the day was slipping by and I should probably get some nourishment in food-form.  I forced myself to temporarily breakaway from my laptop long enough to make a quick sandwich.  

 

At my age, it is profoundly embarrassing to admit I am this STARSTRUCK by a recording artist!!  

 

However, I am happy to report… I was able to pull myself together after lunch, turnoff my laptop, and get on with my day.  (Okay, I may have indulged in just a few more Youtube singalongs with my newly discovered Girlcrush)

 

I guess I just need to say…  “Hello”, It’s me.  My name is Loriyn, and I am an Adele-a-holic.”

 

See for yourself!!!

 

 

 

Facing Mother’s Day with a Broken Heart

Facing Mother’s Day with a Broken Heart

Welcome Back!

Back ? Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

There I was, minding my own business in the Pasta aisle at Walmart, deciding between Vermicelli and Capellini, when I experienced the creepiest encounter ever… like a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Past.

 

I heard her behind me. And before I even saw her, I was transported 17 years back in time.

She was desperately trying to soothe her fussy infant in the grocery cart as her 10 and 4 year old were peppering her with non-stop questions, requests, demands and poking each-other.

 

She looked exhausted… Physically, Mentally and Emotionally.

There was a spit-up stain on her shoulder and yesterday’s mascara was faintly noticeable… adding a deeper shade to her already dark circles.

 

Our eyes met and communicated the words we didn’t need to speak.

I so badly wanted to validate her pain, so I smiled gently and softly said:

“It’s hard”.

And that’s when this poor young mother lost it.

 

Tears rolled down her cheeks as she choked out the words…

“It’s SO HARD.  

I wish my husband realized just how hard it is.  

But he’s never home!  

He works late hours, so I can stay home with the kids… and I never get a break!  

I’m totally drained……..

It’s just SO HARD!”

 

And then she looked at her kids who were obviously her pride and joy and as she wiped away her tears she smiled and said…

“But, it’s worth it… It won’t ALWAYS be this hard… when they grow up it’ll be much easier”.

 

And that’s when I lost it, and as tears streamed down my cheeks, I choked back the words I wanted to say and turned away so she couldn’t see my reaction.  As I stared at boxes of pasta through blurry tears, I felt an empty pain deep in my heart .

 

I wanted to tell her… “Oh my dear, you have no idea just how much harder it can get. Years after you’ve given Everything there is to give, your husband just may happen to come home after “that business trip” or “working late” one night and ask you for a divorce.  

 

He will walk away with his high paying job, executive level earning power and retirement fund, while you walk away with the job description of ‘Housewife and Mom’ added to your resume.

 

And then he just may drag you through the family court system for years, constantly trying to negotiate paying less and less in child support until he manipulates the legal system to eventually pay you nothing at all… and along the way he’ll cause you to pay thousands and thousands in lawyer fees.

 

Then just when you thought your heart couldn’t break anymore… Your kids will see you as the Crabby Complainer and their dad (who, by the way, was busy “working late” their whole childhood) as the go-to parent. He’ll hold all the cards, and bribe them with promises of buying them a car when they turn 16….and…

 

And when your teenage daughter strikes the final blow, by telling you she’d rather live with her dad because you’re barely scraping by and he can easily afford to buy her whatever she wants… including a generous makeup and clothing allowance, you’ll wonder if it was really all worth it.

 

And then after living under his negative influence for a while, she’ll be blinded by the illusion of his spin on reality and there will only be a glimmer of your sweet little girl left behind. She will gladly align with him and forget who you are.

 

But, instead I chose to wipe away my tears and simply wished her a Happy Mother’s Day and she wished me the same.

 

Little did she know, this Sunday, my Mother’s Day will be far from anything I’d dreamed of or hoped for.

 

There are many moms who may not receive that Hallmark moment of recognition and gratitude from their children they long for.

 

There are many different reasons why this Mother’s Day may be filled with disappointment, heartache and sadness for many moms.

 

Remember, sometimes simply knowing you’re not alone makes it all much easier… along with a dish of delicious pasta and a nice bottle of red.

 

The Top 3 Things Wrong With Generation Z ( a.k.a Today’s Teens)

The Top 3 Things Wrong With Generation Z ( a.k.a Today’s Teens)

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

 

Today’s teens who were born between 1994 and 2004, belong to Generation Z.

 

And Gen. Z doesn’t get the best press.

  • A Huffington Post described Gen. Z as “lazy, unaware, and apathetic”.
  • “Gen. Z is entitled, lazy, selfish, tech savvy, and yet incompetent,” -S. Greenfield
  • “Many describe Gen. Z as lazy, self-entitled, tech-dependent, and narcissistic.” -D. Sylvia

 

So, What’s wrong with today’s teenagers???

  1. Their PARENTS!
  2. Their PARENTS!
  3. Their PARENTS!

These Parents were born on The Baby Boomer & Generation X Cusp.  

Known for great success in educational, financial and social arenas.  

Portrayed as a powerful generation of optimism, and achievement.

 

Elite Daily had an article that compared today’s teens with their parents:

Generation Z is used to being spoon fed everything, while their parents worked hard for everything that they currently have.

The Baby Boomer generation understood that the world didn’t owe them anything. They were a more independent generation, as they didn’t really have much of a crutch to lean on in comparison to Gen. Z.

Gen.Z’s an entitled generation, babied by their parents and society and it has really damaged their work ethic and the way they go about life.

They expect things to be done for them and if something requires a little extra work or concentration, they’re easily deterred from doing it.

 

Do I get a: AMEN!!!!!

 

Spring is in the air and it’s a perfect time to witness this phenomenon.

As the temperatures rise, so does the blood pressure of most The Parents.

 

Here are some examples:

  • Billy is failing Biology and the final exam is only weeks away.

Who’s in a panic, Billy or The Parents?

Ummmm, The Parents?  

Yep!

WHAT CAN THEY DO???  They scramble to find a tutor….$50/hour…$100…

No problem, they’ll do anything to prevent Billy from experiencing the direct consequences of the poor choices he made all year long.  

 

  • Katie’s Prom is next month

She finds her favorite dress on the internet.  It’s perfect and she has to have it, but it costs more than most wedding dresses and Katie doesn’t have a job.  

Does she get the dress?

Of course she does!

The Parents buy it for her and, they’ll also throw in a stretch Limo and host a lavish pre-prom photo-op party for all of Katie’s friends and their Parents.

Everyone will look stunning in all the pics posted on FB, especially Katie in her lovely dress..

 

  • Nikki’s a Junior and college is 2 years away

Does she have to worry about it now?

Nope.  She probably hasn’t even given it a minutes thought,

BUT THE PARENTS HAVE.

Infact, The Parents have probably spent most of their Spring

  • Researching ACT/SAT testing dates and review classes to sign her up for
  • Mapping out college visits
  • Getting all the ducks in a row for the college application process

And Nikki will accompany The Parents on these college visits, looking apathetic and mostly texting on her phone and taking selfies along the campus tour.

 

I have a confession:  I was born in 1963 and I have three kids… do the math.

 

Our kids are CODDLED… SPOILED.

And we only have ourselves to blame.

 

Why can’t we let our kids experience their own failures… the disappointments of not getting everything they want?  

 

Are we protecting them or ourselves??

Are we so addicted to success, that we can’t even imagine our own children may fail?  

Do we feel our children’s achievements or failures are a reflection of us… our strength, weakness or flaws??

 

Even if we won’t admit it… It’s common knowledge we’ll do anything to help our kids succeed.

 

Our kids know it and so does everyone else.

 

In fact, high school teachers and administrators will bet on it.  

They know teens will do NOTHING all year long and therefore rely on The Parents to swoop in, save the day and make sure there will be students to pass and graduate.  

So, they created this thing called The Parent Portal and it enables The Parents to enable their teens.  

Most High School Websites now have a “Parent Portal” where The Parents can (at any moment) access their teens class schedule, assignment/project/quiz/ test deadlines and grades.

It’s like The Parents can now have a VIRTUAL SEAT right in their Teens Classroom!!!!

 

Ironically, The Parents  graduated from high school and college with very little help or involvement from their own parents and yet feel DIRECTLY responsible for the academic success or failure of their own kids.  

Heck, my parents didn’t even know where my high school was!!

 

So, while our teens are absorbed in their social-media life…perfecting their duckie-face selfie or building their biceps at the gym… we’re chewing their food and spitting it into their mouths like momma Robins.   

 

And their still FAILING…  

Which just makes us work harder at saving them, because God-forbid they fail a class…

How will they get accepted into a GOOD COLLEGE?????  

And once they get into college, this dynamic will just continue.

They’ll perform mediocre at best as we struggle to write every tuition check.  If their failing a course, we’ll encourage them to “DROP IT!!”.  We’d rather pay for courses they didn’t take, than have them suffer the consequences of an F.  And we’ll all stay on this Hamster Wheel, until we STOP!

These kids don’t stand a chance at any resemblance of personal or professional success, UNLESS we remove their CRUTCH… (by realizing we’re the Crutch)!!!

So, in the upcoming weeks… among the onslaught of FB posted Prom, Senior and Graduation pics… steady yourself for the declaration of “What college acceptance Billy’s chosen!!!”   

And who do you think will be posting all of these accomplishments….                                                                                                The Teen or The Parent that earned them?

[Disclaimer: Yes, maybe there’s always that one teen & parent that’s an exception…  😉  ]

 

My Husband Loves Toys

My Husband Loves Toys

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

My husband LOVES toys & gadgets.

Adult Toys & Gadgets  (no, NOT “those”  kind…).

He just can’t watch an Infomercial without wanting to buy whatever they’re selling.

 

I realize it might eventually be beneficial to install V-chip Technology to block these broadcasts from our home TVs. But, in the meantime, he proudly informed me UPS would soon be delivering a Pressure Cooker.

“Wait…. What?!?!  I don’t want a Pressure Cooker!!”, I quickly replied.

 

I remember those from back in the 60s.  My mom had one, and rarely used it.

It was constructed out of heavy steel and had this black plastic knobie valve that would spin and rattle as explosive steam built-up within the pot.

If you entered the kitchen during one of the very rare occasions my mother was PRESSURE cooking something in it… she would shrill: Do NOT. Get. Near. The. Stove!!! 

When it was done… we basically had to wear hard hats, and crouch under the kitchen table while my mom gingerly tried to remove the lid.

 

Fast forward, I told my husband my feelings about introducing this Highly Dangerous Hazard into our home kitchen and he confidently informed me that…

THIS, was not my Mother’s Pressure Cooker!!!

 

“This was a technological advancement in home cooking like no other.

This Pressure Cooker was fully automated, digital, and SAFE.

It sat safely on the kitchen countertop.  

You simply plugged it in, added the ingredients,

locked on the lid, pushed a few buttons & Voila.

Within minutes you had a delectable meal worthy of a Three-star Michelin Rating.”

 

Then my husband started to describe the great dinners we could easily make in our new Pressure Cooker.  And he had me, right there & then, with: “WE”.  

 

I have never, ever enjoyed “cooking”.  I’ll bake cookies all day long, but I stress-out just at the thought of having to make dinner every night.

I wouldn’t mind it so much if I could cook the same thing for dinner over & over every night… but I dread having to come up with new, different menu ideas!!  I find it torturous!!  

So, I anxiously awaited the arrival of this newfangled Pressure Cooker.  

 

Our first attempt was to make a recipe called Savory Pork Chops with Creamy Mustard and Sage Gravy over Potatoes. We bought all the ingredients, put them in the pot, followed all the instructions and within only a matter of minutes, our dinner was done. Voila!!

So… did the food taste better or any different than if we’d cooked the same meal in the conventional way?  

The verdict: Heck, YEAH it was Better…  it was Unfreaking Believable… melt in your mouth Delicious!!!  

AND I have to admit there were No hard hats required.  

It’s easy to use, totally digital and EVERY meal comes out tasting simply AMAZING!! The steam traps in all the wonderful flavors, nutrients and everything is cooked to the perfect tenderness.

The only (HUGE) disadvantage has been glaringly displayed on the digital display of our bathroom scale. Unfortunately, along with every newly discovered delicious meal… there also seems to be newly discovered inches to my arse.

To be completely honest, this wonderful advancement in home cooking technology is a curse!!

I LOVE food.    I LOVE to eat.  

So, I certainly don’t need food to taste any better or another reason to love food any more than I already do.  (Especially now, at the age when my metabolism has come to a screeching halt!) But, I must say, it’s great to see my husband so enthusiastic about this latest toy and I totally appreciate the help in meal planning and preparation… therefore, I find myself in quite a quandary.   

I was hoping this Pressure Cooker would just find its way into the Gadgetry Graveyard along with the “not so easy to clean” Jack Lalane Juicer…, but Nooooo, this sweet innocent looking thing is still sitting front and center on our kitchen countertop.

I have finally resorted myself to the fact this clever little devil invention is here to stay, so I better learn to live with it and adjust my lifestyle accordingly.

Maybe it would help if every Pressure Cooker came with a free 200 page easy-to-follow recipe book… AND, a free introductory membership to Weight Watchers.

I can only hope the next Infomercial my husband watches will be for a Total Home Gym.

 

Narcissists Do Not Like to Pay Money

Narcissists Do Not Like to Pay Money

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

I would guess… 99.9% of all Post-Divorce Family Court cases involving a Narcissist are based on them wanting money or finding a way out of all their financial obligations…
(Below is an interesting article by Joanna Moore)

 

Narcissists do not like to pay money that they owe

Narcissists don't willingly meet their financial obligations. Child support? Alimony? Personal Loans? Taxes? Nope. If it's not fun for them, they simply ignore it.

Narcissists don’t willingly meet their financial obligations. Child support? Alimony? Personal Loans? Taxes? Nope.
If it’s not fun for them, they simply ignore it.

If a narcissist owes you money, you will probably never see it without a fight. They simply do not feel like they should have to pay for things that aren’t directly benefiting them. They just do not understand the basics of integrity and honoring commitments because all they can think of is their own personal gain and pleasure. They don’t care who they hurt and they don’t care if their refusal to pay destroys someone else’s credit.

This includes child-support. They do not care that their children suffer when they refuse to pay. They don’t think they should have to pay in the first place. If they do pay, it is almost always because their wages are garnished, and when that happens, they feel entitled to something. I noticed with my own narcopath ex, that he refused to pay for over a year and at the same time, he was refusing to see my son. As soon as he started seeing my son regularly, he started making some payments. I guess he felt like if he wasn’t seeing my son, then he didn’t have to pay. Funny, because I still had to pay for shelter, food, childcare, clothes, baby gear and more every day that he didn’t feel obligated to pay! Those of us who share a child with a narcissist have to learn to lean only on ourselves because the other parent is never going to be reliable without some benefit to them. You simply cannot depend on a narcissist for your monetary survival. Just because the law, or honor says they owe you doesn’t mean they are going to pay.

Now a narcissist might pay their mortgage, their car loans, their insurance and other things that affect THEM, but as soon as those things aren’t a benefit to them, they stop paying. For example, if you are getting divorced and the narcissist is ordered to pay for insurance for your kids, or your mortgage payment, they might let it slide. I have a friend whose narcissist husband purposely let their house get foreclosed while he stashed money in hidden bank accounts and claimed he was broke. Never mind that his children were living in the house…. He just didn’t care about anyone but himself.

Same thing with alimony, divorce settlements, personal loans, and more. While most of us feel like we should honor our obligations–especially to friends and family–narcissists are lacking that integrity. They think nothing of spending lots of money on themselves while the people they owe money to struggle, but they don’t have empathy to see what their selfishness does to others. So if a narcissist owes you money, don’t depend on it or expect it. They will go to great lengths to avoid paying you!

For a Friend

For a Friend

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

It all started a few days ago.  

I was writing on my laptop, enjoying my first cup of coffee, when I heard something in the other room.  It sounded like something was hitting the window.  

 

I walked into the family room to check it out, and sure enough, a robin was repeatedly flying into the window.  The minute it saw my reflection it flew away.  

 

I was relieved it hadn’t hurt itself and went back to my writing.

 

No sooner had I returned to my laptop, when I heard the same persistent sound again.

 

Bang……..………..…(wait for it)………………..Bang…………..(and again)……………… Bang!  

 

I walked back into the room and the robin flew away again.  

I thought:   “Geez, poor bird.  It’s gonna hurt itself.”

 

I figured by now this bird must’ve realized it keeps hitting something hard and obviously impermeable and finally flew away somewhere else.   

 

I went back to my writing.  And, I kid you not, within minutes, it started again.

 

Seriously?!?!  

I was shocked.  How could a bird be that stupid…or that stubborn???  Then I recalled hearing stories about how an animal’s instincts can cause it to repeat behavior over and over, even if it results in physical injury or worse.

 

And we’ve all heard the quote:

“Doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results is the definition of Insanity!!”

 

WTHeck!?!? I didn’t have the time, energy or desire to deal with an insane robin!

Every time I walked into the room, it would fly away… but, it would come right back and keep doing the same stupid Banging!!

 

I couldn’t keep walking in and out of the family room all day.  

 

So, I observed its behavior from a vantage point where it couldn’t see me.  

There’s a tree next to the window, and this robin sits on its branch and then takes a header into the window… knocks itself silly and then does it again!!!

 

I wasn’t sure how to help this poor bird, so I tried a few ideas:

 

  • I taped some foil to the window— this didn’t help, it just moved to a different section of the window!

  • Then I designed a replica of myself (like a scarecrow) using chairs, pillows, blankets, etc— this didn’t help.  I added a fan to give the materials some movement— no help!!

  • Then I cut-off the branch it was sitting on— it just moved to another branch! (I thought about cutting down the whole tree, but deep down I knew that wouldn’t help either.)

  • I screamed at it: “What is WRONG with you… are you TRYING to kill yourself!?!?”— no help.

  • Then I opened the window (which has a screen)— Voila, this seemed to help, but we’ve been having a lovely winter this spring and the house was getting a bit chilly (considering the 19* temps outside) so I ultimately closed the window.

By this time it was dusk and Thank Goodness the silly bird retired for the evening!!

 

The next morning I’d forgotten all about the bird until… it started AGAIN!!!

Bang………………………………..Bang………………………………….Bang!

 

WoW!!! It certainly was a consistent little bugger.

 

This time I tied up the window-blind strings and positioned the fan to blow them around. And the Good News is, it seemed to solve the problem.

 

There is just one issue.  This contraption has to be turned on constantly until dusk.  If I forget to turn it on… I am reminded by a persistent:

 

Bang……………… ……………..Bang………………………………….Bang!

And I know there may come a day when this latest fan/string contraption won’t help anymore and I fear finding that bird lying dead under the tree.

 

This whole ordeal has really ruffled my feathers.

No, I am serious!  

 

It is unnerving to try and help another when their behavior is going to hurt them (or worse), and most of your intervention does absolutely nothing .

 

The moments when I waited to see if a new preventative method worked, were absolutely grueling.  My heart would sink (& I’d inevitably feel like a failure) every time I’d hear the Banging start-up again.

 

The very worst letdown was when I thought I’d finally helped, because things quieted down… but then inevitably it would start again.

 

I’m always looking for the silver lining, or lesson learned from facing challenges in life.

And this situation unfortunately mirrored the greatest challenge we all face as human beings:

   The pain and frustration we feel

by watching those we Love

repeat behaviors

that hurt them or can eventually kill them.

 

The hardest thing to endure it to stand-by helplessly.  

And yet that is all you can do.  

Because if they want to Bang into that window… They will… And there’s nothing you can do to stop them.

 

Lesson 101 in loving someone, who is actively engaging in harmful behaviors… is to know there is very little you can do.  It is up to them if they want to change or stop.

We. All. Have. Free. Will.

 

These past few days I learned some important reminders.  

 

Here are some things you can do:

  • You do what you can to help.

  • You realize there is no magic wand to make it all better (no matter how much you beg, scream, cry, plead, wish, hope or pray).

  • You learn to live with your feeling of helplessness.

  • You accept you have no control over another’s Free Will.  You surrender trying to impose yours.

  • You eventually Let Go (and let God).

  • You remember to take care of yourself.

… a little birdie told me so!  

 

 

Drinkin’ the Kool-Aid (The Perfect Pairing with a Narcissist)

Drinkin’ the Kool-Aid (The Perfect Pairing with a Narcissist)

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

There wasn’t a particular flavor of Kool-Aid I liked the best.  

I drank them all.  

I began acquiring a taste for it on our very First Date.  

 

We sat in a Pub near the college campus, dining on pizza, and I listened sympathetically to your Life-story.  

As I was pouring myself some beer from the pitcher we shared… little did I know,  I was actually filling my glass to the brim with Kool-Aid.

 

It all started so innocently.  

Your stories pulled deeply on my heartstrings.

 

You spoke of the financial hardships of growing-up in a big family 

(even though, years later I’d learn your definition of “hardships” could be conceived as a “luxury”  by many).

You matter-of-factly described how you were a victim of being raised in a stoic home, with little emotion or expression of love or affection.  

You explained how this caused deep emotional scars in your 5 siblings… then, humbly boasted how you were able to rise above it all.  

 

I felt so sorry for you, I literally felt my heart break into pieces.

 

In blaring contrast, I’d been raised on the opposite end of the spectrum, in an overly emotional home.  My family hugged & kissed to the point of possible suffocation.  

I wanted to jump out of my seat, smother you in hugs & kisses and make everything better.

 

As the night went on, you told more and more stories and I drank more and more Kool-Aid.  

So, when the bill came and you realized you had forgotten your wallet, I couldn’t reach into my purse fast enough.  

 

I wanted to save you from feeling any more pain… any embarrassment or humiliation.

(l didn’t realize, you were incapable of feeling such emotions)

 

That night our bond was formed right there and then.  

We were perfect for eachother.  

 

I wanted to nurture you and fix everything.  

And you were more than willing to have someone take over all the duties & responsibilities of making your day-to-day life as comfortable as possible.

 

It was a match made in heaven, we were married within 18-months… 

and started our family.

 

As the years passed, I became really good at pouring glasses full of Kool-Aid for friends… family… and even our own kids.  

 

If anyone noticed your detached or self-absorbed traits… I was quick with an excuse or explanation to rationalize your behavior.  

 

Because if I didn’t protect you, then I would risk exposing our family was a sham.  Or worse, I would have to admit that I had failed to fix anything.

 

Behind closed doors, it was all about you; your physical needs, your need to win and the kids and I only mattered when we somehow enhanced your personal gain.  

 

The more financially successful we became… the more you were obsessed with your looks and fancy toys…

And again, the kids and I only seemed to matter when you could “show others” the lavish lifestyle you provided for us.

 

You were so emotionally distant, you weren’t even in our same galaxy.   And you couldn’t understand why that was a problem…

After all, look at the luxurious lifestyle you provided.  Why would anyone need more??

 

Truth is, we probably would have lived in our make-pretend “Happily-Ever-After” forever…

If you hadn’t met that “someone” on a business trip in Montreal and asked for a divorce. 

 

It wasn’t until our divorce when I learned the extent of the damage you could leave in your wake.  The depth of darkness and pain you could cause in our lives.

 

I thought avoiding a court battle and simply agreeing to all your demands would result in a quick and drama free divorce…  

It took only 3 Months to end  a 24 Year marriage.

 

I had no idea you would continuously drag me through the Family Court System FOR YEARS…

Its been 8 years and you just filed another petition!!!  

 

And even though it only wastes the Courts valuable time & resources, causes unnecessary stress and deeply affects our children…

You. Just. Wont. Stop.

You. Just. Wont. Move. On. 

 

You have an insatiable need to take more and more from me.  In your mind you have justified unspeakable court-actions against me.

 

You have an insatiable need to manipulate the Courts to get what you want.  The legal arena has become your obsession… your personal platform… and boy do you love that stage!!

 

Karyl McBride writes:

 

The narcissist will continue to try to blame their partner and harm their partner. They do it by these long, extended, contentious divorce cases that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. We need more education for professionals in the divorce field so that the custody evaluators and family law people and therapists know what they’re dealing with. They also can be seduced by the narcissist.

   

One of the saddest days of my life was in a courtroom, when I saw you lie so convincingly (under oath!!!) without even flinching.  

 

You were always so good at it… cunningly spinning your lies around a kernel of truth.  

A master of manipulation, to the point where, you can make everyone question  their understanding of the truth.

 

It was finally, at that moment, when I could no longer deny, who you were.

There was no more Kool-Aid to provide the “Ignorance of Illusion”.

 

On the drive home from the courthouse that day, I had to face the fact,

because I chose you to be the father of my children…  

they would face a lifetime of pain.  

 

The guilt was more than I could bare… 

my heart was shattered & I wept openly for them.

 

It was a time of deep guilt and painful mourning, but it eventually gave rise to clarity.  

 

You will never change or listen to reason, and are only capable of causing disappointment, frustration and pain for us…

if we have some freedom from the bondage of your manipulation….

then we have a chance at real happiness.

 

Similar to the 1999 movie The Matrix, I had faced the choice of  

The Blue Pill– remaining in a fabricated, fantasy world

or

The Red Pill– living the painful, difficult life of reality.

 

Real healing can only start when we can expose (and accept) what we’re dealing with… because,

only an Authentic Life is truly worth living.

.  Click on this link below…

The Tell Tale Signs To Help You Recognize A Covert Narcissist

 

The truth will be your Bridge Back Home 

 

 

Keep It Simple, Keep It Real

Keep It Simple, Keep It Real

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

 

Keep it Simple…. Keep it Real.  

Sounds easy, huh??  Well, turns out (sometimes) it’s not so easy.  

Sometimes we become trapped by the Illusions of Life, and it’s hard to break free.

 

I recently had a birthday.

And like many people, my birthday’s not just a time to indulge in  

the-once-a-year-guilt-free-dark-chocolate-cake-n-mint-chocolate-chip-ice cream

it’s also a time for self-reflection.

 

This year I reflected upon the importance of “Keeping it Simple and Real”.  

Reminding myself to slow down and strive for clarity, balance and harmony.  

And remembering, sometimes the challenges in our lives, often teach us the best lessons.

 

I was a newlywed during the Reagan Era and was swooped-up into the,

More Is Better Mentality.  

Reaganomics resulted in the greatest Wall Street Bull Market since the 1920s.  

It was an Era of Great Prosperity… generating more wealth, for American families, than any other time in US History!!

 

And in keeping with Madonna’s (1985) mega-hit “Material Girl”… my lifestyle mirrored the relevant lyrics of the time:

Cause we are living in a material world

And I am a material girl

 

I checked ALL the boxes:

  • Town & Country McMansion 
  • Luxury Cars
  • Country Club Memberships
  • Black-tie Galas
  • Exclusive Resort Vacations
  • More & More & More!!

So, what insight did I gain from acquiring so much stuff during the 80s???

#1.  It was exhausting.

#2.  It made life chaotic, complicated and confusing!

#3.  Sometimes material things become a replacement for the

        more meaningful things in life.  

 

About a decade ago…there was one day that clearly put it all into perspective for me:

 

I was at a stop light and looked at the woman in the car next to me.  

She was lovely and had a look of luxury.  

Her hair perfectly coiffed, awesome sunglasses, expensive jewelry

and she had that confident smile and overall look of contentment.  

I noticed she was driving a Mercedes-Benz

and made a mental note to myself:

 

“Of course she’s HAPPY…

she’s living the dream in her fancy Mercedes,

with all of her  fancy “things”…”

 

In contrast, I felt worn-out, stressed, empty….

genuinely wanting.

It was easy for me to believe she had what I needed.

And as the light turned green, and I glanced back to the road ahead of me…

I noticed the Mercedes-Benz symbol on my own steering wheel

of my brand-new car.

 

Turns out for me, More wasn’t Better and Fancy things weren’t the answer!

 

Shortly after that day of reckoning…

I was faced with a choice between the two (material things or meaningful things), and I handed them all over in exchange for ___________.  

   (You Name It… Just Fill-in-the-Blank)

 Freedom

  Harmony

Reality

Clarity

Peace

                                                                          Truth

                                                                            Etc…

 

I handed it all back to the hollow person I shared that life with… (on a Silver Platter in fact, LoL) and I had No Regrets.

 

All of those Things were just providing smoke n’ mirrors to create an illusion and confuse me into believing, it was a Good Life…

when the truth was, I was in an empty relationship and I wasn’t living my life authentically.

I longed for something simple and real.

 

Don’t get me wrong… some people can live that exclusive “Town & Country Lifestyle”,

authentically and happily  (or at least I think they do??)…

it just wasn’t a good fit for me.  

It all became a band-aid and distraction to cover-up what was really missing…

what was truly important.

 

Of course, I still love pretty things and adventurous travel… But, I feel (at this ripe old age) the Bridges I’ve crossed have helped me to finally arrive Back  Home

Full Circle, where I belong, where I want to be.

 

Ironically, my sister sent me this Birthday Card which pretty much sums it up!!

.  

 

Keep It Simple, Keep It Real & Smile Along The Way!!!

 

International Women’s Day (Really?!?!)

International Women’s Day (Really?!?!)

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

I was all set to write today’s blog…

Until I opened up my computer and Google informed me it was:

International Women’s Day.  

 

.Watch Video Clip Here!!

 

After watching the clip, I decided to abandon my original idea. 

Instead, I decided to write about what it’s like to be a woman in 2016 from my perspective, and my opinion on International Women’s Day.

 

Many of you will vehemently disagree with me… and that’s fine.  

It’s just my opinion… and one inalienable right We Women Do Have is:    

 The Freedom to Agree, to Disagree.

 

First of all, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as International Women’s Day!!!  

Frankly, I’m a little humiliated anyone thinks we need one.

And… WoW, was I surprised by my very strong reaction to watching that clip!!

 

It made me very sad to see those women and young girls saying:

“One day I will … ___________ (fill in the blank).”

 

Why did this make me so sad???   

 

Because, I have never in my life seen anything more outrageously ridiculous than women trying to be E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. !!!

 

It’s 2016, for God’s sake, and we are still fighting and thrashing and stomping our feet saying that We Want Equality (With Men)!

It seems women want to do EVERYTHING a man can do and be everything a man can be.

 

But, do we have an International Men’s Day???

Do we see men saying:

“One day I will be the Prima Ballerina performing Odette or Odile in Swan Lake.”

Or,

“One day I will deliver a baby without pain medication.”

I don’t think so!!

 

I mean… when are women going to embrace being women???  

WE. ARE.  DIFFERENT!  

 

Face the reality.  Does being different make us less than a man???  

Of course Not!  

But for goodness sake can we finally just accept we are Different, and own it?

(Let’s ROCK IT Ladies!!)

We can do things men can’t, and men can do things we can’t.  Period!

 

Social media defines the second wave of feminism as the Women’s Movement of the 60s, which focused on issues like: sexuality, family, the workplace, de facto inequalities and legal inequalities.  

  • They fought hard for women’s rights and equality.  
  • They had many valid concerns. (I am a huge proponent of equal pay for equal work.)  
  • They also paved the way for women to be doctors, astronauts, company CEO’s and possibly even President of the United States.  

 

The Women’s Movement said we could be anything we wanted…

We.  Could.  Have.  It.  All!

(Cough-Cough-Bullsh*t!!!)

 

Hum????  Let’s take a close look at things…

We were liberated and given endless opportunities.  Right?

So, how’s that working for us??

Did it improve our lives… our lifestyle???

Or are we F#*%ed ?!?

 

Let’s ask Mrs. Nowak.   The Astronaut, Wife and Mother of Three, who looked like she had it all.  

You remember her… the woman who drove cross-country in diapers to kidnap her ex lover’s new girlfriend.

 

Or we can ask the woman who wants to be President of the United States, if she has it all… the high-power career and the happy, fulfilling marriage, etc… or is it just one big LIE.

 

I do think it’s great women have so many more opportunities than they had years ago.

BUT, let’s be realistic and honest… 

Having. It. All. Comes. With. A. PRICE.

So, if your going to grab that Big Brass Ring, do it with your eyes wide open.

Today, Women Have Many Choices…

Which Means We Have To Make Them As Carefully As Ever!!

 

I see so many of today’s women running themselves ragged, trying to Have It All!

For example, in a “typical” family: 2.5 children, where the husband and wife both work…

The mom typically drops the kids off early in the morning at daycare,

then works a full day and rushes back to pick them up

(with groceries wilting in the car)

so she can rush home and make dinner,

throw in a load of laundry,

bathe the kids, put them to bed

and clean up the house,

before collapsing in bed,

So she can wake-up and Do It All again tomorrow!!!

 

Sometimes the mom and dad equally split the parental and household responsibilities… but that is rare.  

Because even in 2016… Unfortunately, the man’s job still trumps the woman’s.

He’s more likely to travel & have early morning/late night business meetings,

leaving her home to do it all alone.

Yes… I know there are some exceptions, but that’s the problem…

they’re the “exceptions” and not the rule.

 

Whether we want to admit it or not… the default caretaker of parental and household responsibilities (by nature), still falls on the shoulders of the woman.

 

Equality in our domestic roles/responsibilities

have not adapted as quickly as

equality in our workplace roles/responsibilities.

 ♦

We should have first focused on creating the changes

in the infrastructure of our society,

necessary to accommodate

the changes of equality we ultimately wanted

for women in our society.

 ♦

WE put the damn cart before the horse and

now we’re killing ourselves to make it work!!!

 

 

This International Women’s Day campaign asks the question?

How will you mark the day?

 

I’d like to mark the day by making a suggestion:

Yes… the system is broken.

And we need to fix it.

I just believe in using a different solution.

Let’s stop trying to fit a round peg in a square hole

and finally decide to drill a round hole!!

How will you mark the day?